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Cool. Awkward. Black.


A multi-genre YA anthology of bestselling, critically acclaimed Black authors challenging the concept of “the geek,” featuring contributions from Amerie, Kalynn Bayron, Terry J. Benton-Walker, Roseanne A. Brown, Elise Bryant, Tracy Deonn, Desiree S. Evans, Isaac Fitzsimons, Lamar Giles, Jordan Ifueko, Leah Johnson, Amanda Joy, Kwame Mbalia, Tochi Onyebuchi, Shari B. Pennant, K. Arsenault Rivera, Julian Winters, and Ibi Zoboi.

A girl who believes in UFOs; a boy who might have finally found his Prince Charming; a hopeful performer who dreams of being cast in her school’s production of The Sound of Music; a misunderstood magician of sorts with a power she doesn’t quite understand, and beyond.

These plotlines and more comprise the eclectic stories found within the pages of Cool. Awkward. Black.–a dynamic, exciting, and expansive collection of stories featuring exclusively Black characters. From contemporary to historical, fantasy to sci-fi, magical to realistic, this anthology celebrates and redefines the many facets of Blackness and geekiness–both in the real world, and those imagined.


"The collection...moves beyond representation to inspiration, serving as a touchstone for young readers and writers to build on creatively. The intentional blending the rules of genre fiction magnifies the idea of authorship—your story, your rules, societal expectations be damned."

The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review

Utilizing varying literary genres including fairy tales, fantasy, realistic contemporary, and science fiction, the creators deftly interrogate issues of racism, homophobia and transphobia, and intimate partner violence, and depict everyday joys and pains of varied Black experiences. 

Publisher's Weekly

“A fearless and satisfying collection of expansive stories.”

Kirkus Reviews

"Reading [this anthology] feels like a mystery box where every story is the most coveted prize. [A] necessary purchase."

School Library Journal

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